I got tired of looking up what the optimum sizes are for images for the most popular social media – from headers, to profile photos, to channel art. So I created this handy chart of the image requirements for the various social media sites. I hope you find this chart helpful.
Here’s the million dollar question: If you invest money in social media marketing, how many leads will you generate or products will you sell? Hmmm – What social media does most effectively is create brand recognition and keep your name in front of the people you’re trying to reach. And, of course, through that process it should definitely have an impact on your sales – if you use a call-to-action directive. But it also has an “unseen impact” not just direct-response sales or leads.
An unseen impact? The popular TV show “Seinfeld” was often referred to as a “water cooler show” because the morning after a new episode aired people would chat about it with their co-workers. So, even those people who never watched an episode of “Seinfeld” learned about the Soup Nazi, puffy shirts, shrinkage and sponge worthy. They became part of our culture at that time … and still are!
The same water-cooler-type moments hold true with social media. When people see something on social media that strikes their fancy, they’re likely to share it on their social media and or mention it in real life to friends or associates. It could be a restaurant, a video, or a new store that opened in their neighborhood.
How does that water-cooler-type moment help you? Even if the person who saw it on social media isn’t a buyer at that moment, when they mention it to a friend who is in the market for that product or service, there’s a good chance that friend becomes a potential customer. But guess what happens when your survey asks this new customer how they heard about you? Their response will be: “From a Friend.”
Justifying the costs and value of social media: In these cases, you won’t be able to make a direct connection to your social media campaign, yet your social media campaign is what prompted the sale. People who follow you on social media will often share your interesting posts or tweets with their followers. Then those people can share it with their followers, and so on. Ideally one or more of your followers who shares your post has a really large following of their own.
It’s a numbers game. The number of people who see your post through this sharing process has now exponentially increased and somewhere down the line you’ll have new customers as a result. This all ties back to your social media marketing, and an ability to tell your story so it resonates, but there’s no way you’ll ever know it!
If you’re selling a big-ticket item, social media is a way to build brand equity with prospective customers and a way for prospective customers to learn all about you and decide whether they want to do business with you. That’s why the quality of your posts is so important and needs to be professional, as you’re continuously building trust and credibility with your followers (and their followers) whether you realize it or not.
All those people see your posts again and again – like the drivers passing the billboard – and when the time comes to do business, you’re the one who comes to mind!
Call to action: If you can’t devote the necessary time to it, you might consider finding a professional whose job it is to make you look good – by taking the time to post quality content and interact with your followers. Gary Greer comes to mind, at 727.409.2326.
You’ll benefit from what social media has to offer – building your brand and keeping your name out in front of the people you want to reach – even when the impact is unseen!
3 ways – 1. List a “number” of reasons, 2. offer comparisons or concerns, and 3. the “why should” approach. They are effective because they make a very specific promise of what’s coming.
Here are two blog topics by a law firm client of mine, (one on elder law, the other on estate planning), and both topics use three different approaches to create engaging titles.
- 3 ways the elderly are now protected by law
- 5 reasons to review your estate planning now
Comparison or Concerns:
- Are the elderly better served in civil or criminal cases?
- The pros and cons of estate planning
“Why Should…” titles:
- Why should we care about elder laws?
- Why should you worry about your estate’s assets?
Have you noticed in the past few years how much shorter the lines are now at the grocery store, traffic light, doctor’s office, and restaurants? Or, do the lines just seem shorter because you are now secretly enjoy waiting so you can browse Facebook, messages, emails or Twitter, with the thought, “What will I get?” When we unlock our smartphones, we subconsciously crave for variable rewards or something to occupy our minds. This yearning for variable rewards makes us refresh social media feeds and email inboxes – repeatedly.
Here’s an effect you may not have been aware of: According to neurological scientists, 10 minutes on social media can raise oxytocin levels by up to 13 percent, (a generosity-trust chemical in our brains). That’s a hormonal spike equal to what some people experience on their wedding day! People of all ages are addicted to the euphoria effect of their smartphones.
People use their smartphones everywhere. In elevators, for instance, I’ve seen people miss getting off their intended floors because of checking Facebook postings. It’s the norm to use smartphones as we wait at banks, gas stations and even Starbucks.
Does social media technology decrease productivity or are we simply filling what was empty non-productive spaces in our lives?
But multitasking reduces our productivity by up to 40 percent. Each time we are interrupted, it takes us several minutes to refocus. Before those refocus minutes are up, we get distracted again. Is it not surprising that these are the least productive times in the history of mankind?
This social media phenomena also provides opportunities for short-burst marketing and re-branding. The most famous re-branding person of our time? Donald Trump. He uses Twitter to “re-brand” his adversaries. It use to be, “Don’t judge people by what they say about themselves, but by what they say about others.” That still may be true for some, but unfortunately social media has made many believers in stories people want to hear or hope to believe. Social media can now quickly cast false and deceptive re-branding of people and companies.
As a marketer, please consider taking the truth-road. Check Snopes, PolitiFact or other “fact checking” websites before passing along juicy tidbits that could falsely re-brand companies, products or people that worked so hard to create value in their brands.
When writing text for a company’s products, clearly communicate the value and benefits of a product. Figure out what the benefits and advantages really are, and don’t just creatively describe the features as given to you by the company’s engineers. Most copywriters and marketers don’t differentiate between features, benefits and advantages because it’s like pulling teeth to figure out why a customer needs a product and why they should buy it. Yes, it takes time to think that out, but think how long it took to design and develop the product – and the marketing of the product is just as important as the product itself, so it needs proper marketing effort for the product to sell.
A Feature is the function of a product – specifically what it can do.
A Benefit is why a product’s feature is desired, needed or a good thing.
An Advantage is why someone should buy the product and why it is a better choice than the competition.
Here’s a simple example of using the above definitions:
So many times I see the features of a product called a benefit, and or features mixed in with benefits and written under the heading of benefits. Clearly communicate the differences between a Feature, Benefit and an Advantage – and let the follow-up info for responses to inquiries be used to fill in additional information on the features. Give customers a reason the product is needed and is better value than the competition’s product.
7. Customers have specific needs and what they consider value-based content. Because of that, it is best to divide the email list of customers into sub-categories which allows you to send even more highly targeted information to you customers – it could be by product categories, geographic location or even by titles of decision makers. The key is to more closely match the customers needs with your messages. Sometimes being made aware of other products they may not normally buy in addition to new versions of what they do buy, would be of value to them and another way to segment the lists. You could also provide referral bonuses for repeat customers or special introductory offers for products they don’t currently buy as a way to test them out.
8. Channel coordination. By using the same product promotion, language and images in social media, the website and the email campaign, it creates an integrated approach that enhances the brand and helps the customers remember that product that they may not be currently buying. Reinforcing a message is always a good thing, and if action is required, make sure it is up front so you are not telling a long story before getting to the call-to-action.
9. Test best time to send. According to direct mail research studies, the best time statistically to send an email is between 2pm and 5pm. The largest volume of emails people get is typically between 10am and 2pm. You could also do an A/B split test for the emails and look at open rates from the email analytics so you can optimize the lists.
10. Design and layout. Of course the email needs to be visually appealing but where the pictures and graphics are located, the headline, subhead size, and text formatting is a science unto itself. When I worked at AT&T we commissioned an outside firm to do readership studies of ads, website, product packaging designs and other marketing materials. We would have test groups look at the messages and lasers would track their eye movement, as well as we tracked when they stopped reading and lost interest. So designing an email to be effective involves helping the reader to move their eyes in an order that feels natural to them so they read the content you want them to read in the order you hope they will. In a nutshell, people read messages best that are designed in the shape of an “F”. Headline is read left to right, then down to a shorter width subhead or image, back out to a longer subhead or larger image then down to a narrower width text content. The goal of the headline is to get the reader to the subhead, and the subhead then to the text – but pictures and graphics not carefully placed or sized can interrupt that flow, causing people to skip ahead or bypass key parts of the message. The design is as important as the content of the message – and an effective layout can move people to read the entire message.